Monday, September 11th 2017

MicroCenter Starts Limiting GPU Orders per Customer

Taking a distinct approach towards the whole GPU availability and stock issues that we've been seeing in the past few months - mainly due to the cryptomining craze, partly due to low yields on particular GPUs, MicroCenter has started implementation of hard limits on the amount of graphics cards a single user can purchase. According to the new policy, users can buy up to two graphics cards for the base pricing (varying on model) as-is, but orders including more than two units show each additional graphics card coming in at a staggering $10,000 online. This is true for both NVIDIA and AMD-based graphics cards.

In practice however, things are not as harsh as the pricing here leads one to believe. This is a deterrent to people wanting to purchase more than two GPUs, with a senior level employee needed to be able to add three or more cards for each customers. Once approved, you get to buy the graphics cards at prices that remain between the store and the customer depending on the number of units available and required but the local Microcenter here told TechPowerUp that it is certainly not $10,000/card. Microcenter has made this policy known in person, where most of their sales tend to happen. As such, it is their attempt at limiting access to GPUs for mining conglomerates or particularly affluent individual miners, which would otherwise - as has been the case - buy up the entire inventory. It also marks a particularly strong position from MicroCenter, since usually, for retailers and e-tailers as well as for AMD, a sale is a sale, independent of use or buyer case. The company is likely missing out on some additional orders from miners by going this route, and the fact that they are willing to do so really speaks to how strong their vision is for how the market should be behaving. Likely, it isn't that difficult to circumvent this imposed restriction - but the simple fact that it exists is of note. And while this isn't a new approach (we've seen some retailers do the same around RX Vega 64's launch), this might make it more likely for other retailers to follow suit.

Update: The story initially mentioned that the $10,000 per card from three cards and up was an actual store policy, and it has been updated to reflect its nature as a deterrent instead.

Sources: MicroCenter, via ETeknix
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47 Comments on MicroCenter Starts Limiting GPU Orders per Customer

#1
Chaitanya
Now that's an interesting approach, it will hurt those who are genuinely into computes with multi-GPGPU setups. Else for gamers it's perfectly fine as multi GPU setups are thing of past anyways.
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#2
AsRock
TPU addict
Chaitanya said:
Now that's an interesting approach, it will hurt those who are genuinely into computes with multi-GPGPU setups. Else for gamers it's perfectly fine as multi GPU setups are thing of past anyways.
Well about time, just hope others are willing to follow, as we know AMD cannot do shit about, remember they gotta keep those vendors happy.

Although i cannot see why people cannot just shop at 2 or more places for what they want.

Lets face it they still ripping people of per unit, they can shove that price tag were the sun don't shine, that goes for best buy too.
Posted on Reply
#3
zo0lykas
very smart move :-)

they should done this ages ago, but sure miners will found the way get many cards whem need :-)
Posted on Reply
#4
phanbuey
Why the heck would they do that...

Just change the return policies... also mining is great for business.

"The company is likely missing out on some additional orders from miners by going this route, and the fact that they are willing to do so really speaks to how strong their vision is for how the market should be behaving."

Yeah i grew up in Russia, I remember waiting in line for hours because of strong vision about how the market should be behaving.
Posted on Reply
#5
ERazer
MC best place to shop :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#6
repman244
I'm not familiar with how their site works but...just make more accounts and buy?
Posted on Reply
#7
HimymCZe
How exactly does it prevent you from doing multiple orders with all your neighbour and friend addresses?
Posted on Reply
#8
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Uh, why not just bar the purchase like Newegg does? "Limit 2 per customer" or whatever. Seems like a bad business practice to still allow the sales but at ridiculous price. I mean, it's fundamentally the same thing...
Posted on Reply
#9
RejZoR
phanbuey said:
Why the heck would they do that...

Just change the return policies... also mining is great for business.

"The company is likely missing out on some additional orders from miners by going this route, and the fact that they are willing to do so really speaks to how strong their vision is for how the market should be behaving."

Yeah i grew up in Russia, I remember waiting in line for hours because of strong vision about how the market should be behaving.
Mining is great for business only short term. Long term it's the worst possible business...
Posted on Reply
#10
EarthDog
RejZoR said:
Mining is great for business only short term. Long term it's the worst possible business...
Why? Doesnt microcenter accept returns for 30 days and then you return to card partner?
Posted on Reply
#11
phanbuey
RejZoR said:
Mining is great for business only short term. Long term it's the worst possible business...
How so? You're selling cards - selling cards means influx of cash to the retailers and the manufacturers.

All they need to do is cut back the return date period to 7 days or so and hike the prices (like they are doing)...

How would it be bad for you in the long term?
Posted on Reply
#12
GorbazTheDragon
phanbuey said:
I remember waiting in line for hours because of strong vision about how the market should be behaving.
lol

But good way to do it by MC anyway, I wonder if people will buy at 10k, if they do, I wonder if and what things MC might sell at a reduced markup. That would be some real market manipulation...
Posted on Reply
#13
RejZoR
It's because second hand market is flooded with used cards and with everything going for dumb compute, what game dev is going to bother optimizing games for you? No one. If you continue doing this for long you may as well just shut down the gaming division as it'll die by itself anyway with such attitude...
Posted on Reply
#14
R0H1T
zo0lykas said:
very smart move :)

they should done this ages ago, but sure miners will found the way get many cards whem need :)
They could go full mental & devise a way to release mustard gas when the card detects it's being run for mining purposes. OR does that sound like one of those despicable me plots?
Posted on Reply
#15
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
this is a good move, no one is losing business, if 1 miner buys 1000 cards or 50, there are 50 people who will buy those cards individually, this prevents selfish miners from taking from the 50 individuals that want a good graphics card with a budget and want to game. come on people

2 per customer = perfect business and pleases more than just a selfish miner xD.

EDIT: the only one that is losing out is the miner, and well apparently no one cares about them anyways, not from the comments I've been reading haha

EDIT 2: always being sold out is not good business in any way, want to know why? people will go elsewhere... Always... losing future business with that customer, hardcore miners buy in bulk not leaving enough time to restock, individual buyers keep a constant flow so restocking can happen overtime.

that being said, that's just my opinion, someone will disagree with me I don't care.
Posted on Reply
#16
phanbuey
RejZoR said:
It's because second hand market is flooded with used cards and with everything going for dumb compute, what game dev is going to bother optimizing games for you? No one. If you continue doing this for long you may as well just shut down the gaming division as it'll die by itself anyway with such attitude...
Mining is not decreasing demand for gaming cards...

Gaming will always have a demand as long as there are bored people on this planet and game engine devs will always optimize for the most common hardware because they want people to buy their games.

Gaming division at AMD shut down? You mean the company that is making all the CPUs and GPUs for the Xbox? I would be very surprised if that ever happened. If anything that branch is making money hand over fist right now.

T4C Fantasy said:
this is a good move, no one is losing business, if 1 miner buys 1000 cards or 50, there are 50 people who will buy those cards individually, this prevents selfish miners from taking from the 50 individuals that want a good graphics card with a budget and want to game. come on people

2 per customer = perfect business and pleases more than just a selfish miner xD.
The problem is that there is too much demand and not enough production - you fix this by raising prices and increasing production. Artificially limiting orders so that group X can get product Y cheaper is contrary to reality (unless you're in a hurricane and we are talking about vital necessities; which these are not :P).

The onus is on AMD to make more gfx cards not on retailers to try and approve/deny customers.
Posted on Reply
#17
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
phanbuey said:
Mining is not decreasing demand for gaming cards...

Gaming will always have a demand as long as there are bored people on this planet and game engine devs will always optimize for the most common hardware because they want people to buy their games.

Gaming division at AMD shut down? You mean the company that is making all the CPUs and GPUs for the Xbox? I would be very surprised if that ever happened. If anything that branch is making money hand over fist right now.



The problem is that there is too much demand and not enough production - you fix this by raising prices and increasing production. Artificially limiting orders so that group X can get product Y cheaper is contrary to reality (unless you're in a hurricane and we are talking about vital necessities; which these are not :p).

The onus is on AMD to make more gfx cards not on retailers to try and approve/deny customers.
its on nvidia too because they are always sold out too, well from last i looked when i tried to buy a 1060

leaving the customers upset because prices are sky high is not good business
Posted on Reply
#18
yotano211
micro center started that buying policy about 2-3 months ago, right after I bought 24 1060 3gb.
Posted on Reply
#19
jmcslob
I seen that when I was last there... It's not just GPU's they also price CPU's like that too..
1 I7-7700k for $289 2 for $449 each 3@ $10,000
BTW the Mayfeild heights store had RX 580's in stock along with everything else even though they were listed as sold out online.
Posted on Reply
#20
Casecutter
R0H1T said:
They could go full mental & devise a way to release mustard gas when the card detects it's being run for mining purposes. OR does that sound like one of those despicable me plots?
I thought they did that it's call coil whine...

Limiting to just two cards to an account, address and credit card is one way, rebates (for one card only) though the retailer could be another way. Most larger mining folks would then have to build a bunch accounts, ship addresses, and cards... and need to log in-buy-log out of each or have minions to babysit each. And yes, I realize that won't totally stop them! But at least gives some road block and semblance that might give "average gamer wanting just one" some chance to get one when stock hits. A guy wanting 20 in one order is at least somewhat curtailed for some minutes, while would he want to fill out 10 rebates to get $20 per card? At least it will make him and the minions work filling out all the addresses and crap, if they don't the retailer (Microcenter) gets that money.
Posted on Reply
#21
RejZoR
I don't think there will EVER be enough supply of graphic cards to meet the demands of miners. We already make more GPU's than ever and each buys bunch of them now. Something rarely anyone did when SLi and Crossfire were a thing. If they triple the production capacities and I don' think there would be enough graphic cards for everyone.
Posted on Reply
#22
EarthDog
@RejZoR
RejZoR said:
Mining is great for business only short term. Long term it's the worst possible business...
EarthDog said:
Why? Doesnt microcenter accept returns for 30 days and then you return to card partner?
Posted on Reply
#23
Alphadark
Here is why I think they did this. People are using scripts and auto buy features to instantly purchase the hardware the second it goes into stock.

Since it is completely automated many people are going to actually end up buying these at the insane prices.
Depending on how big the operation they might not notice the bill for over 30 days. Leaving them no way to return the 10k graphics card.

As grumpy cat would say "good"
Posted on Reply
#24
Joss
phanbuey said:
Yeah i grew up in Russia, I remember waiting in line for hours because of strong vision about how the market should be behaving
:laugh: exactly!

This mining craze is, in fact, a result of market distortion; in this case the monetary system.
Posted on Reply
#25
VSG
Story updated, that $10k number isn't really what it seems to be.
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